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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access November 4, 2015

Response of lateral channel dynamics of a lowland meanderingriver to engineering-derived adjustments - an example of theMorava River (Czech Republic)

  • Jakub Ondruch and Zdenek Mácka
From the journal Open Geosciences

Abstract

Freely meandering (quasi)natural reaches oflowland rivers represent a rare phenomenon in Central Europe.Increasing attention is currently being paid to thedynamics of quasi-natural (artificially influenced) meanderingrivers as this attention represents the basic prerequisitefor the development of appropriate restorationstrategies on regulated rivers. This study focused on a 5.5km long reach of the Morava River in the Strážnické Pomoravíregion, Czech Republic that is characterised byquasi-natural evolution after substantial engineering adjustmentswere made in the first decades of the twentiethcentury. Based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS)analysis of aerial photographs, the spatio-temporal dynamicsof bank erosion and accretion rates were quantitativelydescribed and variables that control channel migrationrates were identified. High rates of lateral shifts werelocalised in high sinuosity segments (sinuosity 1.17-2.37),whereas segments with very low rates were straight orformed into slightly curved bends (sinuosity 1.05-1.18). Asa key factor, engineering works that influenced local riverbed slope and induced a dramatic increase in bank erosionrates were identified. River engineering works induced adramatic increase in bank erosion rate (2.19 m/year for1938-53 and 1.47 m/year for 1953-63). An interval of approximately25 years was needed before the erosion ratesdropped back to values documented before river regulation(0.35-1.09 m/year for 1841-1938). Other important controllingvariables included radius of curvature, frequencyand magnitude of floods and, locally, river bank materialproperties and floodplain land cover.

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Received: 2014-09-30
Accepted: 2015-02-10
Published Online: 2015-11-04

©2015 J. Ondruch and Z. Mácka

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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